Am I using LingQ correctly?

I have absolutely no idea if I am using the program correctly.
All I have done each day is go through a lesson or lessons in order. I click words and I click the each of the review things at the bottom of each page and do those and sometimes look at a translation of a sentence and then finally listen to the lesson spoken.
Do I fully understand it when spoken? No. When I read it again I have to click words for definition again or even the meaning of an entire sentence. Through my 12.5 years of failure learning Tagalog here in the Philippines I often may know all words in a low level sentence but have no idea what the sentence is supposed to mean.
Should I keep doing a lesson over and over and over again even if it takes a month to understand it before going to the next lesson? But I fear at that rate it will take many years just to finish Beginner 1.

– George


Seek progress, not perfection.
Aim to get the gist of the meaning and gradual understand it more clearly. In the meantime, you can still move through lessons.
I am new here with little experience in Tagalog, but that is my two cents and in line with one of Steve Kaufman’s podcasts I recently listened to.
Consider why you know the vocabulary but not the meaning of the sentence and see if there’s a certain weakness to work on in addition.

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Thank you. After 12.5 years of failure using conventional teachers for 5 of those years, friends who mostly did not help, and a culture that thinks just being here will create fluency when they do not help at all, has lead to my getting rid of friends and complaining to various managements about their staff responding to me in English when I said justna few words to them in Tagalog, perfectly by the way. I even sent emails to corporate headquarters of Starbucks here and the US. Yes, I was discussed. Now they talk to me in Tagalog. All foreigners I know here gave up. One from Vietnam was asked if he knew Tagalog since he was here for almost 4 years at the time. He said, No since no one talks to me.

Oh, since June 2019 I had started using the Natural Method as explained by Prof. Brown. Once again beghing for help using children’s books so it took 3 years to get 1,500 hours. But that failed me since I think I was doing it wrong. Everyone should have been just using the photos and telling their own story from the pictures. An equal amount of time describing in detail the pictures. So I have switched to that.
I have spent or perhaps wasted a small fortune on failure. I cannot have minimal talks with anyone and most talk I do not understand. I have considered seeing a neurologist to see if I have a brain defect.

when i started on lingq what i had done was to choose a few courses aimed at beginner levels then intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2. Then switched on to reading graded readers after that non fiction books I am learning German

In the beginning to make my lessons comprehensible i used to open deepl/google translate in a new window. Paste text from my target language (that I am learning) into deepl or google translate. Did bilingual reading. Read a couple of sentences in my native language then in my target language. After finishing reading this way went back to the original text. Read it through all the way to the end missed meaning of a few sentences didnt worry kept reading . Then listened to the text while followed along (3-4 times at best) and moved on to the next lesson in the course.

Bilingual reading allows you to insert meaning to the unknown text that you are reading in your target language. And listening to the same text a few more times cement sounds of individual words subconsciously.

See this sample:

Also you can listen to the audio in your target language and while follow along in your native/second best language for developing meaning of the text.

After doing this you can listen to the audio of the lesson itself without using any aid. Give it a try.

Quantity trumps. Keep going through new lessons and exposing to different unknown words !

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12.5 years. That does sound frustrating.

I find that when I feel frustrated as a learner, it’s good to step away, relax, then remember why I want to learn and what I love about the subject.

With any luck I can return to my study and find ways to make it absorbing and enjoyable.

Steve Kaufmann does not seem to care much about how people learn languages or how they use LingQ. His overall point seems to be if one enjoys learning a language and keeps at it, the results will come.

Why do you want to learn Tagalog? What makes learning Tagalog compelling for you? How can you enjoy the process?

You don’t have to answer here. Perhaps if you reconnected with your answers, your learning wouldn’t be so difficult.


I second this.

I think that I’ve just recently achieved fluency in French and I have throughout my three years of French learning struggled with exactly what Original Poster said. That I might know all words in a sentence and still struggle. My advice? Try and think logically for a second, if it says “Buy you want milkshake” as an example, it might not make sense at first but taking a moment to try and reason it out will hopefully help. I had this problem for a month with French where they put the pronouns in the beginning of the sentence “I you like” or “I you hate”. It’s only a small difference so it might be harder for you but it took me a while of just trying to purposefully focus in on what it might mean. I think this effort and honestly migraine at points gave me understanding in French. Now I almost never worry or struggle with that.

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I looked at your profile and saw that you’ve marked 232 words as known so far. It’s not bad at all! But for LingQ this stage might be overwhelming. Personally I learned Chinese for 3 years in school. I am around where you are and have the same issues trying to understand anything.

I learned Romanian from scratch here however and it took me an entire month of a few hours each day, reading as many mini stories as possible. Listening, re-reading before I could make out anything. So no, you’re not at all alone. I struggled for 2 out of 3 months studying Romanian.

Once I hit 4,000-5,000 known words things began to change. Whilst Romanian still felt very difficult and honestly so mentally draining I went to bed with a headache each night. Once I hit this mark I felt like I could read Romanian and understand the meaning of a sentence. It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of time. I studied several hours a day, each day. Couldn’t understand anything beyond the beginner content but it worked eventually. 5000 words may sound like a lot to you now, but trust me if you keep working you will get there. As long as you notice yourself adding a new word to known then be proud for learning just a single new word. Eventually you will progress beyond just that. Tagalog is a distant language, that means it might feel harder but it’s only hard now because it’s so distant. Once you can understand low level sentences without issue you will have all that’s needed to reach fluency one day. You might doubt yourself, but, as long as you keep going eventually you will reach fluency. I fully believe so at least.


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